Letting an employee go, no matter what the reason, is never an enjoyable task. The truth is - and leaders should never say this to someone who is losing his or her job - that it's tough on the boss. This is one of the heaviest burdens a leader has to shoulder.
When we label a public servant as "non-essential," we do little to promote their sacrifice and dedication to making our country. Even more, this belittling label does not inspire young and innovative people to join government to make positive change.
Furloughed workers wonder how they will pay their bills until they receive back pay. We simply worry about paying the bills. For the millions who have been laid off during the recession, no businesses offered free meals or other discounts the day after the pink slip arrived.
Most serious are the long-term public health and safety consequences of this government shutdown. The CDC, for example, announced a suspension of its annual seasonal flu activities just as influenza season kicked off.
In a surprising turn of events that has drawn criticism from the Democrats and widespread Republican support, furloughed federal government employees have accepted the blame for their current hiatus from work.
With families to support, bills to pay and the length of the shutdown unclear, furloughed workers face uncertainty. Will the Senate pass the back pay bill? Can credit card bills be delayed? What about the mortgage payments?